About the Initiative

Incorporating Inclusion

Incorporating Inclusion is a first-of-its-kind research and education initiative established to demonstrate the corporate and community value of LGBT-inclusive workplaces.

At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, we often look toward the business community to lead by example when it comes to engaging in their communities and societies. We know the business community is the most powerful voice and network to shift these practices, and that includes LGBT inclusion, acceptance, and empowerment.

Over the next year, the Chamber Foundation and the Gill Foundation will build an online resource platform and education initiative to engage companies at various stages of instituting LGBT supportive policies and provide the necessary tools to act. The initiative will help build a system for businesses to learn and understand best practices, including participating in cross-sector conversations at the state and local level about the equal treatment of LGBT employees.

Why Incorporating Inclusion's Important

The business case for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) inclusion in the workplace is resounding. Diverse workplace teams solve problems more quickly, and companies with diverse senior-level teams are more successful. This data translates into economic benefits for companies that engage in LGBT-inclusive policies. Companies that adopt these policies show a long term increase in financial performance compared to peer companies that do not.

The financial benefits are not the only reason to engage in LGBT-inclusive policies. Prospective talent and current employees care deeply about their company’s culture in this regard. In a 2017 national survey, 80% of respondents said that inclusion is an important factor in choosing an employer, and 72% would leave an organization for another that was more inclusive.

In spite of this overwhelming body of evidence, over 50% of the LGBT community is closeted at work, and 41% of LGBT employees have left a job because they have felt bullied.

Those last two statistics show a clear disconnect between the understanding of the importance of LGBT-inclusive practices, their execution in the workplace, and how they are received by the employees and community. That disconnect exists because there is not enough guidance on how the company as an organization can engage LGBT-inclusivity as a comprehensive strategy, instead of just its tactics, within its culture.

The Chamber Foundation and the Gill Foundation are eager to address this need. That’s why we’re launching Incorporating Inclusion. It is in response to these current business challenges around diversity and inclusion that the Chamber Foundation and the Gill Foundation are launching Inclusion Incorporated, a first-of-its-kind research and education initiative established to demonstrate the corporate and community value of LGBT-inclusive workplaces.

Campaign Timeline

In April 2019, the partnership released research on how to implement inclusive policies—documenting the benefits that a company experiences in its culture when it pursues LGBT supportive policies.

These research findings will be followed by a webinar diving into the research findings, the launch of an online resource platform and regional forums, in partnership with local chambers of commerce. These regional forums will enable greater discourse and continue to develop the resources, best practices, and case studies addressing how inclusive policies can take shape.

Regional forums are confirmed to take place in Columbus, Ohio, Northern Virginia, and Orlando, Florida.